Envoy: IAEA Approves Iran's 60 Percent Uranium Enrichment
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency announced on Sunday that the IAEA has verified and approved Iran's 60 percent uranium enrichment.
"The IAEA released a report to verify that on April 17 that Iran has started producing UF6 with 60 percent purity through feeding UF6 gas with 5 percent purity simultaneously to IR4 and IR6 chains in Natanz Enrichment Center," Qaribabadi also Iran’s Permanent Representative to Vienna-based International Organizations told reporters.
Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said on Friday the country is producing 9 grams of uranium with 60% level of enrichment per hour.
“Currently, 9 grams of 60% enriched uranium is being produced per hour and 20% enriched uranium will also be produced at the same time," Salehi said.
The AEOI Chief stressed that the Iranian scientists’ success to achieve 60% enrichment “was a great step to implement parliament’s law approved in December to counter sanctions".
"We can produce uranium with any level of purity if needed", he emphasized.
In relevant remarks earlier on Sunday, a senior Iranian legislator said that start of uranium enrichment to the purity level of 60% is only a part of Iran’s plans to retaliate the West’s non-commitment to its nuclear deal undertakings.
"60% enrichment is part of Iran's response to the West’s defiance of its undertakings," Vice-Chairman of the Iranian parliament’s Internal Affairs Commission Mohammad Hassan Asafari told FNA.
He added that the European Union should take the opportunity presented by the Islamic Republic and stop dealing with Tehran through a pressure strategy, warning, “We have planned several options for each of their options, and we have other options in addition to increasing the level of uranium enrichment to 60%.”
“The Western parties should know that if they take action against our country, there are certainly triple-urgency nuclear plans on the agenda of the parliament which will require the government to adopt certain other measures in response,” Asafari said.
Iran and the remaining signatories to 2015 nuclear deal are meeting in Vienna to try to remove the unilateral US sanctions imposed by former president Donald Trump three years ago after he abandoned the international accord.
The US is not allowed to participate in the discussions, but its representatives are reportedly held abreast of the negotiations down the hall by the Europeans.
The new talks come after an incident was reported at a part of the power network of the Natanz nuclear facility last Sunday morning.
The incident at the power distribution network of Shahid Ahmadi Roshan facility in Natanz has been blamed on Israel. While Tel Aviv officials have made implicit confession of the terrorist attack, the Israeli state and private media have acknowledged Mossad's leading role in the attack.
Iranian officials have vowed retaliation against perpetrators, specially Israel.
Earlier, Qaribabadi slammed Israel as the main culprit behind the recent incident in Natanz nuclear facility, adding that the act of sabotage will not stop enrichment activities in the complex.
“The full responsibility for this act of sabotage lies with the Zionist regime of Israel and its supporters,” Qaribabadi said in a televised interview, adding the damaged IR-1 centrifuges would be replaced in no time with others capable of 50 percent more enrichment capacity.
He stressed that the latest generation of homegrown centrifuges would also be set up in the nuclear facility in the near future.
In a first move to show Iran's hardening stance in reaction to the Sunday terrorist attack on Natanz nuclear facility, the country declared on Tuesday that the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) will initiate preparatory steps to start enriching uranium to the 60% purity level.
"Upon an order by the President, the AEOI has been required to launch 60-percent uranium enrichment line under Article 1 of the Parliament Law on 'Strategic Action to Remove Sanctions' and protect the Iranian nation's interests," AEOI Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told FNA on Tuesday night.
He further added that the International Atomic Energy Agency has been informed of Iran's plan, and pointed out that the 60-percent enriched uranium is used in the production of Molybdenum to be used for the production of different types of radiomedicine, with applications in the treatment of patients including those with cardiac problems.